However, the rapid advance of the digital revolution (electronic stores and new digital technologies) and a change in global trends, has radically transformed consumer expectations. Now when people go to to the shopping malls they are looking for experiences beyond the traditional shopping. As these new trends advance, the shopping mall operators are forced to rethink the idea and how to operate their properties.
These transformations, which include design, architecture, new technologies and human and social activities in all their aspects, take place in several directions. Since shopping loses its popularity with this new approach, the mall now becomes a space in which common areas become more relevant.
The restaurants are accompanied by leisure activities. The attractions entertaining the customer’s time becomes an essential aspect of the shopping mall experience. Whether it is culture, excitement, entertainment, relaxation or any interesting, instructive, stimulating, fun activity, is a good option to to fill the customer’s spare time. The shopping activity turns into an authentic experience.
Information technologies are also an important factor in the transformation of the shopping malls. The challenge for these and their tenants is combining the ease of online shopping with the touch and feel of the physical store experience. Technology provides solutions to satisfactorily respond to this challenge.
The so-called beacon technology is being used to inform the shoppers in the malls about the promotions and events. Technology can even direct them towards specific products and immediate promotions in the stores. In addition, the functionality of smartphones is integrated into the access to the inventory of each store. On the other hand, collecting data on customers shopping habits allows to monitor behavior and tailor the shopping experience to their liking. Lastly, a well placed tactile screen allows the shoppers to view 3D maps of the shopping mall, look for schedules of events, services, discounts, as well as situating themselves and download the store directions. And of course the cell phone charging stations becomes something common.
In summary, these new trends imply investments in the following aspects:
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